Booker T. Washington High School Principal Carlos Phillips has been named the H-E-B Excellence in Education Secondary Principal Award winner for 2020.
This year, Excellence in Education award winners were announced
during a virtual “Toast to Texas Teachers” in celebration of National Teacher
Appreciation Week. The virtual event included surprise appearances from actors Matthew
McConaughey and Eva Longoria, former NBA player Matt Bonner, and fashion
designer Kendra Scott.
Phillips, who was also the HISD Secondary Principal of the Year
for 2019-2020, received a $10,000 cash prize and a $25,000 grant for Washington
High School. Phillips was one of five finalists from across the state competing
for the Secondary Principal Award.
but connected. Students from Bellaire, Lamar, Milby, Westside, and Westbury
high schools have created a virtual collaborative dance performance eloquently expressing
their feelings regarding social distancing. Forced to stay home, they are
connecting with their fellow dance students virtually.
the collaborative performance “Dance Alone Together” by visiting this link.
extensive project was edited and produced by students under the direction of
their dance teachers and Sanja Korman, fine arts dance curriculum
specialist. According to Korman, the next project from the group will be a
dance inspired by a COVID-19 poem written by a Westside High School student.
HISD’s Office of Special Education has launched a YouTube channel
to help special education students and their parents as they adjust to learning
The channel will be used as an instructional resource for teachers
and parents and will offer engaging educational content for students. It
includes videos for grade levels K-12 that focus on science, reading, and math.
Imagine Learning has named two HISD
schools 2019-2020 Imagine Nation Schools of Excellence for their exceptional
use of the award-winning Imagine Learning programs.
Both River Oaks and Windsor Village elementary schools were selected for their use of Imagine Learning’s Imagine Math program, which builds problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding with personalized support.
team from River Oaks Elementary has utilized the program long before the
transition to distance learning, making the award very special.
The list of prestigious universities that
want to enroll Heights High School valedictorian Emily Ramirez is impressive—Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, Duke,
Stanford, Wellesley, Pomona, and Rice.
Emily has decided on Harvard, however, partly because her sister
is finishing her sophomore year there now. Since attending Harvard Elementary
School, it has been a dream of hers to attend Harvard University.
The numerous acceptances have taken the
sting out of her disappointment regarding an abbreviated senior year and
graduation ceremony that is up in the air.
Benjamin Brown has adjusted to his new online
classroom routine but says he would prefer to go
back to in-person classes to utilize his “full potential.”
Benjamin wakes up 30 minutes prior to his
first virtual class, has breakfast, and logs into the portal where the class
will take place. Afterward, he immediately gets started on the work for his
dual credit and high school classes.
“One of the two of the main challenges I am
experiencing with virtual schooling is waking up on time,” he said. “The second
is definitely an increase in the amount of work from my dual credit classes.”
Maria Rosas Rosas always looks on the bright side. Despite
her disappointment at not seeing her friends and family at graduation, she is
“Being a virtual valedictorian doesn’t feel that different
from being a valedictorian walking the halls at Westbury,” Maria said. “Apart
from the uncertainty surrounding graduation, I am proud of myself and my
accomplishments. I know my friends, teachers, and family are also proud of me.
That is all I really need.
“Like everyone else, I can’t help but feel disappointed by the
way the school year is ending. We have been working so hard the past four years
and expected to see ourselves walking across the stage, receiving our diplomas,
and sharing some tears. Now that is gone. Although it’s depressing, I believe
it will make our next meeting more memorable..”
Mariela Banda was looking forward to celebrating the end of
her high school years in person with her classmates at Milby High School.
“Being a virtual valedictorian is unfortunate since we will
not be able to fully close this chapter of our lives before we continue with
the next one,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking not to be able to share the joy of
graduation with my class. Instead, we have to worry about the
future. Being a virtual valedictorian is both challenging and stressful,
but I feel certain my class will continue to move forward.”
Mariela is still reaching out to motivate members of her
Although he is more of a “face-to-face person,” Energized for STEM Academy valedictorian Michael Duru is excited to be at the top of his class during this time of virtual learning.
circumstances under which this is happening aren’t great, but I feel
somewhat special to be part of something that has never happened before.” Duru
A natural leader, Michael encourages his fellow students to participate in the online school environment by joining in virtual class discussions.
“I’ve been able to help lead my class by reaching out to other students via text and being as active as possible in class group chats,” he said. “I welcome this change as a way to stay connected with my peers and encourage them to finish the year strong.”